Diamond land...not!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of South Africa  , Northern Cape,
Sunday, July 20, 2008

Francis felt just like Rivera.......she thought that she was going to Kimberly and see, find and maybe (if the credit card limit was big enough) splurge on good sized diamond earrings......sucker!!!! No, to Matt's relief and Francis' chagrine, no diamonds were to be found in this land by us. The prices are much higher than in the US...Matt is soooo happy writing and reading this at the moment.

You have to love small towns all over the world. Well at least Francis and Matthew love small towns. There was really nothing to do.....NOTHING AT ALL TO DO in Kimberly. The Liars Planet (Lonely Planet for the uninitiated) told us so but we still wanted to experience small town South Africa. We loved it, people were actually nice to us, the information desk had a map of town even though the town has only 15,000 people and only 1 big site to visit. Its impossible to get lost in Kimberly but hey we took the free map...because it was free and we are dorks.

The one big attraction in Kimberly is the Big Hole. The largest hole in the world dug by hand.  What could possibly make men dig such a big hole?  If you haven't heard of it already, Kimberly has produced more diamonds than any other site in the world, over 15 million carats of diamonds just from the Big Hole alone.  It was amazing to see but sad at the same time. Due to lack of safety many men died here looking for diamonds while their bosses got richer!!!  This is the site where De Beers started it domination of the institution of marriage worldwide - because after all "a diamond is forever", so don't you want your marriage to last that long too!  The museum is actually pretty honest (which surprised us), showing that 10 to 15 years into the diamond rush, corporations run by white men ran the mines, with almost exclusively black workers barely earning enough to eat.  Even before then, white miners regularly searched black miners and took any diamonds that they had found in claims they legally owned, calling them thieves and other worse names.  Its part of the sad history of exploitation that this country has, though certainly such exploitation has happened in many places including the US.

Well...no diamond for Francis and Matt is more than happy with a non maxed-out credit card.

Francis found her favorite quote " I HAVE NEVER HATED ANY MAN ENOUGH TO GIVE BACK HIS DIAMOND" This is a quote that every woman should live by. And Francis added and extra piece of advice
 " Thank God for No pre-nup!"  Matt's advice:  "every man should get a pre-nup and only buy her a really small diamond!"
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